Kanger jumps on vaccine deal with China firm


KANGER International Bhd shares rose by 30% or 4.5 sen to 19.5 sen yesterday after analysts say countries with ties to China will have easier access to potential Covid-19 vaccines being developed in the country.

The company was the most heavily traded counter on Bursa Malaysia yesterday with 253 million shares traded, giving the company a market capitalisation of RM357.31 million.

Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research recently said Kanger’s agreement with state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp (Sinopharm) to manufacture and distribute its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Malaysia indicates countries which are part of the Belt and Road Initiative will have easier access to vaccines being developed by companies in China.

“On top of the formalised agreements, Chinese authorities have also committed to making its vaccines available as ‘global public goods,’” Fitch Solutions Inc said in a recent statement as Covid-19 infections across the world continue to rise.

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region feature prominently in terms of acquiring entities, while Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccines being developed in collaboration with Chinese authorities have emerged as partners.

Sinopharm and Sinovac initiated Phase III trials in July according to state media reports and the US National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials registry.

Fitch Solutions said this theoretically puts them on a similar timeline to candidates in development from US-based Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc which both entered Phase III trials in the US on July 27.

“This puts our expectations for interim results in the remaining months of the year and therefore potential approval towards the end of the year or into the first half of 2021 (1H21).

“Our current house view is that, while the early-stage results from all the leading candidates were positive, accounting for the risk of failure or delay put our expectations for approval into 1H21,” it said.

Sinopharm’s vaccine is expected to be on the market by December 2020.

Sinopharm and Sinovac have engaged with countries with higher cases to trial their candidates. However, with many countries now participating in late-stage trials, developers will need to be wary that manufacturing capacity matches up with access commitments.

Initial agreements made between April and early-August 2020 involving developed markets in Europe, North America and Asia, have been followed by a raft of deals involving emerging markets.

The trend is expected to continue as the world moves closer towards the potential approval of a vaccine.